The Hedgewitch (Hagwychia variegata)

I came across this today too good not to share

The Hedgewitch is very common in Britain these days, though it was once thought to be on the verge of extinction in most places due to government suppression. It is most commonly found in woodland and on riverbanks, though it also thrives in other habitats. It can, with difficulty, be cultivated in urban areas, though it much prefers the countryside. The Hedgewitch is often slow-growing due to its preference for shady hollows, and due to its solitary nature it is often slow to reproduce. In rich seams of knowledge it grows more quickly, and may attempt cross-pollination with others of the species. However, when a group of this species does meet, each specimen undergoes substantial growth spurts. Very rarely, this group may evolve into the subspecies covenii, but this is an unstable strain, and it usually reverts quickly to its former state.

It is often difficult to distinguish between the male and female of the species due to their similar attire, which has evolved to allow ease of spread in dense undergrowth and woodland areas. However, the male is very rare, so unless there are other indications one can usually presume that the specimen is female. Tell-tale signs include twigs in the hair, a thin covering of mud, and a distinctive odour of cat-piss caused by its close association with elderflowers and other pungent herbs. Under close examination, it may tell you to ‘bugger off and mind your own business if you don’t want this big stick rammed somewhere unpleasant’, so care must be taken at all times. Protective clothing may be advisable when handling.

Though once considered poisonous, the Hedgewitch may in fact have healing properties, if used correctly. It may be governed by almost any deity, or could also possibly have told it to ‘bugger off and mind your own business if you don’t want this big stick rammed somewhere unpleasant’, an unusual attribute almost unique to this species.

Extracted from ‘The Reader’s Direst Book of British Pagans’

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